I made one goal for this whole year, and it was to read more. On this eve of a brand new year and decade, I can honestly say that I succeeded. I read forty-five books in 2018, and in 2019, I read sixty. My family is impressed, and that's all that counts, right? Graham or Jonah pointed out that this means I read more than one book per week, on average. Not two books per week, but more than one. I was thinking more of monthly goals, and that averages to five books a month. I read nothing in November and only the first book I read all December yesterday.
Starting tomorrow, I'm going to include numbers of pages I read, along with a running book count. I'm still using the journal my friend Andrea bought me a couple of years ago, and it's reserved only for this purpose. I challenged my stepdad Bill to join me in this, and I'm considering this a competition. ;)
Here are all the books I read for the year, and I'll indicate by five stars which I loved most.
1. Girls Night Out, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
2. Cozy Minimalist Home, Myquillyn Smith
3. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
4. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
5. When We Were Young, Karen Kingsbury
6. How To Walk Away, Katherine Center ***** (I am counting those little things as stars, and there are FIVE!)
7. Before and Again, Barbara Delinsky
8. Something In the Water, Catherine Steadman *****
9. The Apartment, Danielle Steel
10. The Light We Lost, Jill Santopolo
11. Night of Miracles, Elizabeth Berg
12. Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks
13. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens *****
14. The Last Mrs. Parrish, Liv Constantine *****
15. Dumplin', Julie Murphy (This was a Netflix movie, too, and was even better.)
16. Falling, Jane Green *****
17. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman
18. More Than Words, Jill Santopolo
19. The Mother's Promise, Sally Hepworth *****
20. Five Feet Apart, Rachel Lippincott with Mikki Daughtery and Tobias Ianconis
21. Fall From Grace, Danielle Steel
22. First Sight, Danielle Steel
23. The Lost Husband, Katherine Center
24. Small Great Things, Jodi Piccoult
25. Family Pictures, Jane Green
26. Two Weeks, Karen Kingsbury *****
27. Who I Am With You, Robin Lee Hatcher
28. Beauchamp Hall, Danielle Steel (This is pronounced Beecham Hall...who'd have thought?)
29. Ever Faithful, Karen Barnett
30. Accidental Heroes, Danielle Steel *****
31. Two By Two, Nicholas Sparks (I HATED THIS BOOK, but I had to finish.)
32. The Lemon Orchard, Luane Rice
33. The Secret of Clouds, Alyson Richman ***** (Possibly my favorite book of the year)
34. The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang (This was terrible, but again, I had to finish it.)
35. Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey
36. A Silent Night, Danielle Steel
37. Saving Grace, Jane Green
38. The Military Wife, Laura Trentham
39. Courting Mr. Emerson, Melody Carlson
40. The Bride Test, Helen Hoang (I quit this author forever.)
41. Summer of '69, Elin Hilderbrand
42. The Family Next Door, Sally Hepworth
43. The Two Lila Bennetts, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
44. Rushing Waters, Danielle Steel
45. Something Needs to Change, David Platt *****
46. Raising Successful Teens, Jeffrey Dean
47. Love the One You're With, Emily Giffin
48. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
49. First Love, James Patterson *****
50. Eight Twenty Eight, Ian and Larissa Murphy
51. Miracle, Danielle Steel
52. Evidence of Mercy, Terri Blackstock
53. Blessing in Disguise, Danielle Steel
54. Slammed, Colleen Hoover
55. Confess, Colleen Hoover
56. Point of Retreat, Colleen Hoover
57. This Girl, Colleen Hoover
58. A Robertson Family Christmas, Miss Kay Robertson
59. All of the New Testament (of COURSE I am counting this, it was 562 pages.)
60. We Met in December, Rosie Curtis (I'm almost finished with this one, so I'm counting it for 2019!)
You'll notice several repeating authors, I know I can always fall back onto those when I'm in a slump or if I've read several duds in a row.
If I had to narrow this list down to my favorite book of the year, based upon the ability to not be able to put it down, it would be between a couple of these. Also, I remember them, even now, after reading them months ago. Here they are, counting down from five.
5. Two Weeks, Karen Kingsbury
4. Something In the Water, Catherine Steadman
3. How To Walk Away, Katherine Center
2. The Last Mrs. Parrish, Liv Constantine
...and my favorite book of 2019 was such a random, accidental pick from the library, but that caught my attention immediately was...
1. The Secret of Clouds, Alyson Richman!
I remember almost every detail of this book, and it sparked several conversations I had after I read the book. This would make an excellent book club book. Also, several of the runners up were Reese Witherspoon book club books, and I know that I can always fall back on those when I need something fast. Her list of books is VAST, and several of them from 2019 are on my To Read list for 2020. I'm about to buy one today, because it's on sale for $5.
I hope I've inspired you to read some more. I also hope to exceed this number in 2020, but no promises.
Thanks for reading! Love to all.